In the light of the silvery moon villagers of Dominica passed cases of water, pampers, and soap. The middle of Tecumseh Avenue in Mt. Vernon was quiet but busy. You will find a container in the driveway with three fourths of it was already loaded with water, food, medical supplies, juice, generators and clothing.
Everyone were smiling and jovial while focused as they emptied a moving truck. “We’ve been packing barrels and taping since this morning,” replied Ora Matthew. President of the Marigot Youth Organization which is one of the villages in Dominica.
Dominica officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a sovereign island country. The capital, Roseau, is located on the leeward side of the island. It is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Everything changed after hurricane Maria. The day before Maria hit Puerto Rico it hit Dominica which was a category five. By the time Maria landed on Puerto Rico it was at a category four. Wonders as to why many are unaware of the travesty in Dominica. When researching the web you will notice that the news in the United States basically stopped reporting about Dominica after the storm hit Puerto Rico. Most of the emphasized broadcast focused on affiliations with the United States. “So it is up to us to help our people.”
The island of Dominica is struggling to recover, and thousands are trying to rebuild after losing everything. Dave Richards Vice President of the Marigot Action Group stated that both groups collaborated together to lend a hand in helping the people of Dominica. These are two groups that collaborated together. They were both in existence before the hurricane blew. One organization focused on culture and the other about the youth. Both were originally formed in regards to the issues in Dominica such as development, education, economy, and the infrastructure situation.
According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the storm killed 26, and four weeks after it made landfall as a Category 5, at least 31 people are still missing. Almost everybody on the island of 75,000 was impacted by the catastrophe – including the leader.
A sovereign island nation since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1978, Dominica has received some British help in the wake of the hurricane. The British Royal Navy sent a support vessel to the island, but the need is massive. This drive in the middle of a quiet block in Westchester is to help with the disaster. The plight to help started immediately after the hurricane which was approximately four weeks ago. Many who are from the Caribbean understand what it means to pack a barrel. It is customary to have a barrel in the dining room or basement of your home and fill it up with items to send “back home”. Items that we take for granted are seen as luxury items such as flash lights, batteries, and solar lanterns. Dave Richards shared, “The immediate needs is the current warrant. This is our first container which is going to Marigot. On Wednesday, October 25th the containers will be shipped and will take two weeks to get there. Three to four will be flying down to Dominica to receive the container and lead the mission of serving the people.”
“Our future task is to fill another container. The future is for building materials to get donated. Lumber 84 states that they will be donating lumber for the mission. We will rally for items ranging from forks to plow the land, shovels to clear the land, furniture, tents, hammocks, insect repellant and fans.”
Both organizations have been working effortlessly to secure the items in the container. Neither are connected to any community leaders or organizations in Mt. Vernon or the Westchester area. These are ordinary people who set a goal and achieved it by word of mouth. I bumped into this mission on Saturday evening and returned with five cases of water. I then alerted the church I attend Sts. John, Paul, and Clement on South ninth avenue. Returning on Sunday in the afternoon with two cars loaded with items for the people of Dominica.
Thank You to the Marigot Youth Organization and the Marigot Action Group for putting together this Hurricane Relief Project for the villagers of Marigot located in Dominica. If you are interested in supporting the Marigot Youth Organization and the Marigot Action Group please begin to collect items for the next container. There will be future information to come.
With Love ❤ Cynthia
Ora (646) 247-7018
Dave (617) 470-0147
Rob (917) 693-1257